Eddie Murphy is returning to one of his signature roles, as the comedic actor has signed on to star in Coming To America 2.
The film will see Murphy stepping back into the role of Prince Akeem of the fictional African kingdom of Zamunda who in the first film traveled to Queens in order to find a wife who could love him or who he was as a person and not just because he was the heir to a throne.
Craig Brewer, who just wrapped Dolemite Is My Name, the biopic of African-American comic and Blaxploitation film star Rudy Ray Moore which Murphy is starring in for Netflix, is set to direct. Kenya Barris currently rewriting the screenplay original Coming To America writers Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield first started working on back in 2017.
According to Deadline –
In the sequel, Akeem learns about a long lost son, and must return to America to meet his unlikely heir to the throne of Zamunda. The intention is to bring back the original cast which includes Arsenio Hall, who played the prince’s aide Semmi; Shari Headley, who was courted by the prince when he went undercover as a fast food worker; John Amos, who played her father; and James Earl Jones, who played the king.
Although not stated, it would be a good bet that both Murphy and Hall will play multiple characters under prosthetic makeup the way they did in the original film.
Although no official production start date has been set, the studio plans to get the film in front of cameras at some point this year. With Murphy on board, I would expect the rest of things to fall into place somewhat easily.
That Murphy is going back to his role of Akeem comes as a bit of a surprise. While once one of the biggest starts in the 1980s and early 90s, his career path of late has been oddly winding. Although he started out the 2000s riding on the popularity of The Nutty Professor (1999) and its sequel (2001), his critically acclaimed work in Dreamgirls (2006) as well as his voice work in the Shrek animated features, he also had a string of spectacular failures including The Adventures Of Pluto Nash (2002), Norbit (2007) and Meet Dave (2009). He has only had one film released – the little seen Mr. Church (2016) – in the past seven years. There have been numerous other projects that Murphy has reportedly circled – including an, ugh, sequel to Twins titled Triplets – he has been reluctant to sign onto any of them. Perhaps having been stung by some of his past failures. For him to fully commit to this is hopefully a good sign.